Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes United Nations Public Service award for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)

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 Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, today (Thursday, 23rd June 2022) welcomed the announcement that the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)” won a 2022 United Nations Public Service Award,

The prestigious award, in the category of “Institutional resilience and innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic” sees international recognition for Ireland’s primary Social Inclusion programme.

SICAP is a Department of Rural and Community Development programme that aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality.

It is delivered by supporting communities and individuals via community development, engagement, and collaboration.

Welcoming the award, Minister O’Brien said:

“I am very proud that the SICAP programme has been recognised for this award, an acknowledgement internationally of the immense work of the programme, particularly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“SICAP supports communities and individuals using local community development approaches, engagement and collaboration within the framework of a national programme.

“This allows for flexibility to respond to new and emerging local needs aimed at supporting local communities and building community resilience.

“Some of the innovative responses during the pandemic included food parcels, shop and drop and meals-on-wheels services, friendly calls and phone based crisis counselling services and support to families adapting to digital services.”

The Minister concluded:

 “This award, a first for this Department, is testament to the strength of the programme and the hard work and commitment of our DRCD staff, Pobal, Local Government, Local Development Companies and programme beneficiaries.

“Today, we celebrate public service and continue our commitment and dedication to serving the public interest to the highest possible standard and inspire and encourage others working across the public service.”

SICAP is managed at a local level by 33 Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), with support from local authorities. The programme is implemented nationally by 46 Local Development Companies (LDCs) across 51 areas.

The budget for the programme in 2022 is €43 million.

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